Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Poultry
Cathryn

hen houses

We went away for one night, just one. Had a lovely time with a group of friends, came back feeling great but came back to one hen. She was the one who had decided not to roost in the clearly dangerous henhouse. She was right. Friends and neighbours had forgotten to fasten them in so the badger took all but her.

I like keeping hens but I like being able to go away and not think about them. I like keeping flighty bantams. I'm starting to consider designs of houses that are inaccessible to slightly clumsy creatures like badgers. A not very strong branch to access the house that is high up off the ground for example.

There are other predators but i want to lower the risk.

Has anyone got any design suggestions?
Treacodactyl

How do you know it's a badger? If it's just badgers then a sturdy fence designed for wild boar should keep them out but foxes would just leap over.

I would have thought the simplest design would be a pen made from weldmesh, or at least weldmesh around the sides and good chicken wire on the top. The hens can free range during the day but you'd round them up into the pen before going out.
Cathryn

A pen isn't free range. I don't want a pen, they are relatively safe during the day. That's relative though as I lost four new ones during the day when I was in the house. I'd just pulled the run away to get them used to wandering the garden.

Pretty sure it's a badger because the dogs would chase off a fox but not an adult badger. Foxes are sensibly wary of the dogs but the dogs were shut in that night. I have seen a badger trying to break in, had to go right up to it before it moved off.

I'd rather not have the hundreds of badgers we have on the farm but that's not an option. There is around six setts. Mixed woodland, unimproved fields, ready supply of hens and honey, perfect habitat.
Woodburner

My (best) coops are on legs, so the bottom of the pophole is 3ft off the ground. Higher would be even safer, but then I'd have to fix them the ground to stop them blowing over in high winds, and I'd need a ladder to collect eggs. Wink
dpack

barrel on top of a post is supposed to be good

perhaps a bit fancy

cut end off barrel,fit a couple of perches,nail to post,add ladder simples Wink
Cathryn

We're working on this kind of idea. Adapting one of the arks. It's an old Forsham, wish they were still going. They made such high quality hen houses.
Chez

I think there's a River Cottage design floating round with a ladder for them to get up in to it. I will have a look. Internet connection is running at Mochyn-speed currently though Sad
Treacodactyl

A pen isn't free range. I don't want a pen, they are relatively safe during the day. That's relative though as I lost four new ones during the day when I was in the house. I'd just pulled the run away to get them used to wandering the garden.


They can't free range if they've been munched. I only meant pen them up when you go out, so most of the time they free range.

Foxes are very clever so even if you put something on stilts you may still get losses due to them.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I think there's a River Cottage design floating round with a ladder for them to get up in to it. I will have a look. Internet connection is running at Mochyn-speed currently though Sad




Wobbly ladder for birds, sturdy human ladder only used for egg collecting.
Chez

Yup, that's the one! sean

Jack would be delighted with a load of those on his lawn I reckon. Chez

Especially if he was asked to put them up. Can we watch? Cathryn

Especially if he was asked to put them up. Can we watch?

I want the hens to be safe! Rolling Eyes I believe he is currently coffee housing as he knows I have A Plan that will have to involve him and a saw.


T - yes I see what you mean and yes I feel bad at continuing to want to have hens despite their at times limited life expectancy. It went so smoothly for so many years.
dpack

if the ladder pegs are all on one side and the pole can turn if used by something bigger than a chook ...... Wink vegplot

A woman with a plan. That can be terrifying. alison

how many chooks are you talking about. I would have a house, with joined on pen, maybe at the back, that only gets used when you need a no or late lock up. Let them out otherwise for free ranging. alison

The trouble with the HFW houses is they are terrible for cleaning out. Chez

You could make them with a wire bottom so if all falls through and you just scrape it up from underneath. Better ventilation wise, too. Woodburner

You could make them with a wire bottom so if all falls through and you just scrape it up from underneath. Better ventilation wise, too.

Slats are easier and better. Feathers and straw catch on wire and then get stuck on with poo making it even harder for straw and feathers to fall through etc.
wellington womble

Can't you get automatic closing pop holes? Would that help at all, or are they dawn/dusk raids when it would still be open?

Could hens and dogs share accommodation? Or would that be too much for the dogs? What about in with horses? Surely horses wouldn't have any truck with badgers in their midst, and wouldn't eat the hens?

We used to drive past a house that kept their hens on an island in a small lake. If you suggest that first, Jack might be grateful it's only a saw he needs.....

Or you could suggest alpacas. That should get the sawdust moving Wink
Cathryn

Badgers are not worried by any of those, dogs included. They can also swim well and climb some trees. However I am considering contacting a friend who might fancy house sitting if we ever have a longish holiday. Wink
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Poultry
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home